Quantcast
become a Patreon patron

cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

David Byrne: “The Internet will suck all creative content out of the world”

Maybe someone will listen cuz it’s David Byrne talking…? From the Guardian:

David Byrne: ‘The internet will suck all creative content out of the world’

The boom in digital streaming may generate profits for record labels and free content for consumers, but it spells disaster for today’s artists across the creative industries

I… don’t understand the claim of discovery that Spotify makes; the actual moment of discovery in most cases happens at the moment when someone else tells you about an artist or you read about them – not when you’re on the streaming service listening to what you have read about (though Spotify does indeed have a “discovery” page that, like Pandora’s algorithm, suggests artists you might like). There is also, I’m told, a way to see what your “friends” have on their playlists, though I’d be curious to know whether a significant number of people find new music in this way. I’d be even more curious if the folks who “discover” music on these services then go on to purchase it. Why would you click and go elsewhere and pay when the free version is sitting right in front of you? Am I crazy?

How do you make the transition from “I’ll give away anything to get noticed” to “Sorry, now you have to pay for my music”?…

Are these services evil? Are they simply a legalised version of file-sharing sites such as Napster and Pirate Bay – with the difference being that with streaming services the big labels now get hefty advances? The debate as to whether those pirate sites cannibalise possible sales goes on. Some say freeloaders wouldn’t have paid for music anyway, so there’s no real loss; others say freeloaders are mainly super-fans who end up paying artists in other ways, buying concert tickets and T-shirts, for example. Though, as author Chris Ruen points out in his book Freeloading, if you yourself didn’t pay for any of the music by your favourite bands, then don’t be surprised if they eventually call it quits for lack of funds.

The larger question is that if free or cheap streaming becomes the way we consume all (recorded) music and indeed a huge percentage of other creative content – TV, movies, games, art, porn – then perhaps we might stop for a moment and consider the effect these services and this technology will have, before “selling off” all our cultural assets the way the big record companies did. If, for instance, the future of the movie business comes to rely on the income from Netflix’s $8-a-month-streaming-service as a way to fund all films and TV production, then things will change very quickly. As with music, that model doesn’t seem sustainable if it becomes the dominant form of consumption. Musicians might, for now, challenge the major labels and get a fairer deal than 15% of a pittance, but it seems to me that the whole model is unsustainable as a means of supporting creative work of any kind. Not just music. The inevitable result would seem to be that the internet will suck the creative content out of the whole world until nothing is left. Writers, for example, can’t rely on making money from live performances – what are they supposed to do? Write ad copy?

(There much more.)

Ha haha. No one will listen. The very first comment after Byrne is from someone who shrugs at the complaints and figures that art is a hobby and that all artists should be happy to work for free.

Fuck this shit…


posted in:
Net buzz | talent buzz

Pin It on Pinterest